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Black Sunday

200 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Beautifully photographed in black and white by director Mario Bava himself, BLACK SUNDAY is hypnotic and compelling. From the brutal opening to the resurrection of the vampires and the horrors that follow, Bava's camera effortlessly glides through the fog bound sets, presenting one incredible image after another. Barbara Steele is magnificent in her dual role. Dubbed in English.

Product Details

  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K2X9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,205 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Sunday" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on October 26, 2003
Format: DVD
Italian director Mario Bava exploded onto the horror scene with the wonderful black and white film "Black Sunday," also known as "The Mask of Satan" (a title I prefer because it does such a better job describing the movie). This picture borrows heavily from a Nikolai Gogol short story called "The Vij," and while I am not familiar with the story, the movie succeeds fantastically at conveying a bleak atmosphere of horror. "The Mask of Satan" was Bava's official directorial debut, giving viewers a chance to see the genius that was to come from this excellent filmmaker. Bava didn't merely direct films, however. He also worked on all aspects of movie making during his long career. The director even helped his son cut his teeth in the business immediately before his death in 1980. Fans will miss Bava terribly after viewing just a few of his films, as he was one of those rare Italian horror directors who could truly deliver the goods.
"Black Sunday," set in Romania, opens at an unspecified date in the seventeenth century. Some of the local nobles decide to get together and roast a couple of Satan's followers, but this barbecue bears a special meaning for the House of Vajda because one of its own is on the spit. The beautiful Princess Asa Vajda fell under the evil spell of the dark one, along with her unseemly lover Javutich, and both now face a painful execution. In order to insure that these two sullied creatures wear the mark of their crimes, Asa's own brother orders a metal mask of Satan nailed to their faces. Unfortunately for the Vajda family, Asa casts a curse on the family immediately before her execution, promising to come back from the dead and plague her relatives throughout the centuries.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Anon. on February 4, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I already owned the previous DVD release of this film but was excited to purchase the Blu-Ray. The biggest disappointment for me is not the image quality (which is okay but, comparatively speaking, no revelation) but the fact that this Blu-Ray gives you no options but to watch the lousy English dub. Why? It makes no sense. The film was released as an exploitation film in the US by American International Pictures; the dub is of this level. Compare this with the just-released Region 2 UK Blu-Ray which offers three audio versions ("Italian, European English and AIP English"!) as well as the option of watching the original Italian version, with music by Roberto Nicolosi, or the AIP re-edit, re-dub with music by Lex Baxter. It also includes, as a bonus, the earlier I VAMPIRI (which Bava partly directed, but without credit). Now, this is what one expects from a Blu-Ray! I've just ordered the UK release and will report on it again when I eventually receive it. Of course, it requires one to have a multi-region player so it would be a no-go for most readers here, but my point is simply that there is no reason why this classic little gem doesn't deserve better treatment by its US distributor. A missed opportunity. The same bare bones treatment seems to characterize the other recent Bava Blu-Rays. Sad.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: DVD
Black Sunday is an engrossing, well-crafted, and suprisingly beautiful horror film. This DVD is testament to that fact and a sharp back-handed slap at those who automatically dismiss genre movies as trash. The respect Black Sunday and director Mario Bava are given is long overdue.
I won't bore you with tedious plot summarys. All I will tell you is that if you haven't seen Black Sunday, you must, and that if you have seen it, you must see it again in this presentation (because you've been missing plenty both in content and quality).
Presented in its origanal 1:66:1 theatrical aspect ratio, viewers for the first time can see this classic in ALL its macabre glory. The image quality is absolutely astounding when one compares it to the VHS editions floating around. The audio is also presented in pristine condition gaurenteed to sound excellent in any stereo thanks to the various formats.
All this makes one wonder exactly how much time went into this? If Video Watchdog editor/publisher Tim Lucas's liner notes and commentary are any indication, then the answer has to be a lot! Both are well-informed and thorougly entertaining.
It is a wonderful feeling to know that someone took the time to give you your money's worth -- that is exactly what the people behind this gorgeous DVD have done.
As an avid fan of the writings of Tim Lucas, I would like to strongly encourage fans of Mario Bava and like-minded artists to check out his magazine, Video Watchdog and his post-modernistic vampire novel, Throat Sprockets.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kesler on May 18, 2000
Format: DVD
Actually, my rating for this DVD version of "Black Sunday" would be 5 stars for the video transfer, 5 stars for Bava's cinematography (seen here like never before), 2 stars for the audio transfer, and 3 stars for the overall quality of the film itself. Bava was not a great director, and didn't like to be called a "cinematographer," but this film really is a painting in motion: every scene is a paradigm of Gothicism -- the cinematic equivalent of Gustave Dore. Like other
reviewers, I was floored by the print used for this disc: it looks, almost literally, like it was shot yesterday, and it's almost impossible to believe the film is almost 40 years old. If there are other films from this era that look this pristine, I haven't seen them. My only quarrel with the disc has to do with the dubbing. In all honesty, I feel this film sports one of the worst American dubbing jobs ever performed on a film, and the big question (which neither Tim Lucas nor anyone else seems to have raised)is this: WHERE is the original Italian-language version of "Black Sunday," and why wasn't an attempt made to give us the original dialogue with OPTIONAL English subtitles? Mr. Lucas would have us believe that this DVD was the original version, but obviously the entire cast is speaking Italian (duhhh - why else would you have to dub in English?). So, yes, I'm thrilled to have this beautiful print, but hopefully in the future we'll get the original Italian dialogue and not have to endure the abominable dubbing...
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Topic From this Discussion
wrong product description
I agree! The Editorial Review refers to the Bruce Dern/Robert Shaw terrorism movie. Also, some of the customer reviews are posted for the wrong movie. Good catch, Brad.........hasn't anyone else (including Amazon) noticed this?
Mar 28, 2008 by Big Hugh |  See all 3 posts
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